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Cablegate: Prime Minister Responds to Mcc Criteria Concerns

VZCZCXRO5566
RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHBP #1296 3051553
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011553Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8373
INFO RUEHLMC/MCC WASHINGTON DC 0084
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAMAKO 001296

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EINV ECON EAGR ML
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER RESPONDS TO MCC CRITERIA CONCERNS

1.(SBU) Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe telephoned the Ambassador on
October 31 to discuss the 2008 MCC eligibility criteria. Ambassador
had written the Prime Minister in advance of a scheduled meeting to
outline the new criteria, to note that Mali was now failing a
majority of indicators in the "investing in people" category (and 2
in the "economic freedom" category), and to ask the Prime Minister
to designate Malian government focal points to work with MCC to
develop an action plan on remediation.

2.(SBU) During the call, the Prime Minister confirmed he had
received the letter, and he pressed for clarification on whether
this suggested that Mali's MCC compact would be suspended. The
Ambassador replied that such an action would be an extraordinary and
unprecedented step, that the Mali Compact was on track, but that the
eligibility criteria for 2008 pointed to deficiencies that needed to
be addressed in an action plan to ensure that both parties were in
agreement on the way ahead.

3.(SBU) The Prime Minister concurred on the need to establish a
joint plan, and agreed immediately to designate a focal point for
the government. He added that he would need to study the issue
further to see if one focal point would suffice, and if focal points
within the relevant technical ministries would be necessary. In
general, however, the PM clearly understood the message, and seemed
committed to working with MCC to develop the required action plan.
Ambassador expects to meet with the PM the week of November 5 (in
company of the MCC Resident Country Director) to follow up on this
issue.

McCulley

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